Updating Mac OS/OSx

Its fairly simple to update the OS on a Mac from the App store. However updates can go wrong and or you can end up with software you rely on not working following an update due to incompatibility, leaving a restore as the only option. I’m very sceptical of any update to a completely new operating system. Fools rush in to discover problems, usually serious.

Caution and preparation is the best approach.

  1. Firstly if the operating system is a brand new release then WAIT! The rule “Never install version one of anything” applies, no matter how much of a good idea it may be, it can mean trouble. Wait until version .2 or .3 or even .4. Apples QA once irreproachable, is now not good and defects often shipped. Allow early adopters to discover problems and wait until Apple ships the later, re-worked versions with fixes.
  2. Check all your installed software will be work with your new OS. This can verified by visiting the various software vendors websites and checking your version works with your new OS or update accordingly.
  3. Next perform a backup, whilst Time Machine may do, its strongly advised to have a separate, independant backup using Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper. These superb programes will clone your boot disc and data to a separate USB connected disk from which you could perform a full restore if required.
  4. Decide on the installation type if you wish to perform a regular install where the OS is replaced leaving software and data intact or a completely clean install – which replaces everything with the new OS.

The update procedure:

Whilst your new OS can simply be downloaded and installed from the App store, Ive always found the best way to perform an update is from a bootable USB. This does not rely on internet bandwidth and provides more control. Whats more it’s extremely useful to retain a bootable USB disk with your OS on it.

To create a bootable USB pen drive of your operating system you need an 8Gb or 16Gb drive. It’s really easy and exteremely handy if you have to update more than one Mac:

  1. First download and install the appropriate version of DiskMaker X for your operating system.
  2. Download the version of OS or OSx required, if you don’t already have it just search for OS version direct download of .dmg – where version is 10.13 or other desired version.
  3. Connect up your pen drive then start up diskmakerX and follow the instructions. Be aware all data on the target pen drive will be erased during the process.
  4. Once you’ve created your new boot disk, plug it in, re-boot.
  5. Press and hold R until prompted, select the USB drive to boot from and follow installation instructions.

Good luck.

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